I hadn’t lost her. I hadn’t buried her. I’d only let her change into something new – Adrienne Young.
This book is my absolute favourite book of 2019 so far, and it will probably be number one by the end of the year too. It is full of action, thrill and so much emotion that I’m surprised the spine doesn’t break its back in two. It is almost as if reading the book is a race in itself. I stumbled over words because I wanted to know everything immediately, the story gripped me that much. I read this in two and a bit sittings, the majority of which was spent on a train across the country. I am grateful for this story being so incredible and I honestly want to read it all over again right now.
Sky In The Deep tells the tale of a young Viking warrior called Eelyn. She is feisty, strong and proud. Also, stubborn. It is a trait that ties many of the characters in this story together, whether they like it or not. Eelyn is one of those characters that you find yourself relating to in many ways. She is flawed, imperfect, but someone who you admire as a reader and as a person. She is also a character that you want to embody more of: her fierce nature is what makes her strong. She knows in her heart what is right, and she follows that path, no matter the cost. It is what saves her, and what makes her such a special character.
Eelyn is in the midst of a battle when she sees the ghost of her brother. He saves her from a Riki warrior, her sworn enemy. When she sees him again, she realises two heart-breaking truths: he has been alive for the five years she prayed for his soul, and he has been fighting alongside their enemy. There is a fine line between the two truths, and it is a constant battle as to which is worse. He may have saved her, but he takes her to the Riki village where she must become a dyer – a slave to be sold and bought, something which will mean she can never go to her afterlife. As an outside threat grows, she must figure out what is best for her clan and her people, whilst battling her own demons too.
There are only so many times I can say I truly love this book. It has sparked a new lease of life in me, and a need to research everything about Viking legends. This book is a fantasy novel, but there would have been clans and battles in the past that have lost their voices throughout the ages. This story brings that small piece of history back to life and into the hands of readers everywhere. This story is about so much more than the feud between two groups of people. It is about friendship and loyalty, the indescribable faith that we place in other people who we would trust with our lives. It is about the complicated relationships in family, the unconditional love that we have for one another despite anything that we have done to cause pain. It is about forgiveness and a desire for a better life. It is a journey across snow-filled mountains and beautiful fjords, but it is also a journey of one young woman who thought she understood everything about life, when – in reality – the monsters she thought she knew were exactly like her: survivors.
Even just writing this review (whilst listening to Vikings soundtrack) makes me want to relive this story over and over again. I cannot thank, or congratulate, Adrienne Young enough for creating such a stunning debut. It is beautiful and gritty, breath-taking and addictive, magical and brutal, all at once. You need to read this book. And, don’t read the blurb. I didn’t and was so surprised along the way, which made the entire experience so much more enjoyable.
Do you like fantasy takes on Viking legend? Sky In The Deep is a book that you will cherish.
Love, Faye xo